Despite the short Lowland League break for the Wee Jambos, they kept their legs ticking over with a comfortable 7-1 friendly win over Vale of Leithen at Innerleithen on Thursday night.
It’s been an encouraging start to the season for the Jam Tarts and manager Liam Fox would’ve been keen to keep the high standards set in the early stages of the league campaign against Vale.
It was a fast start from the Wee Jambos, and they were ahead inside nine minutes, through Bailey Dall. The home side struggled to clear their lines and Dall was on hand to prod the ball home from inside the six-yard box to open the scoring.
Just two minutes later, Hearts made it two. Makenzie Kirk is also enjoying a successful start to the campaign and there was only one outcome when Ryan Duncan’s diagonal cross picked out Kirk to head home from close range.
The men in maroon were three goals to the good after just 15 minutes. Kirk again in the right place at the right time to tap home from close range.
It was looking like a long evening for Vale, but they pulled one back four minutes later as James Flynn found space to head home from a corner and deny Jack McConnell a debut clean sheet in the Hearts goal.
That goal didn’t spook Hearts however and they added a further two goals before half-time.
Firstly, Adam Forrester galloped forward to add Hearts’ fourth, before turning provider as Kirk completed a first half hat-trick ten minutes before the break.
Fox made a number of changes during the interval, but the second half saw Hearts continue their dominance.
James Wilson added a sixth on the hour before, teeing up Harry Gordon to round off the scoring ten minutes from time.
The men in maroon return to league duties on Friday, September 29th, when they travel to take on East Stirlingshire.
Hearts: McConnell; Forrester (Trialist 62), Dall (Drysdale 46), Smutek (Gillies 66), Rathie, Nair, Duncan (Ross 46), Denholm (H Gordon 46), Kirk (Thomas 46), Sandilands (Wilson 45), Tait (Trialist 62);
SUBS; McFarlane, Wilson, Thomas, H Gordon, Drysdale, Ross, Trialist, Gillies, Trialist
Speaking at full-time, manager Liam Fox said:
“I am delighted for a few reasons. Firstly, the result, secondly the performance, and the attitude of the players. The three early goals made a big difference, but the lads kept going, when it is so easy to take your eye off the ball.
“This game came at the right time with no Lowland League games due to Cup competitions. The one downside was we may have scored more goals. However, importantly Macaulay and Aidan, plus almost the whole squad, gained game time. Thanks to Vale for their hospitality and friendliness.”
Match Report by Bill Smith.